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Cyprus

14 May 2020

 International Year of the Nurse and Midwife / Florence Nightingale Birth Bicentenary

Cyprus: International Year of the Nurse and Midwife / Florence Nightingale Birth Bicentenary, 14 May 2020. Images from private collection and Cyprus Post.

Technical Specifications:

Issued on: 2020-05-14
Size: 42.5 x 31.5 mm
Colors: Multicolor
Perforation: comb13¾ x 13¼
Printing: Offset lithography
Denomination: 0.34€
Print run: 90,000

Each year, May 12th is established as the International Nurses Day. 2020 has also been designated as the year of the nurse and the midwife. Nurses and midwives are the “bridge” of health care, at the forefront and a key factor in achieving universal health coverage as they are the link between the community and the complex health system.

The Cyprus Nurses and Midwives Association has been established in Cyprus since 1971, representing both Nurses and Midwives locally and internationally.

2020 is also the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, a British pioneer in modern nursing, a woman who devoted her life to caring for the sick and who founded the profession of nursing sisters.


From Oncology Nursing News, published 2 April 2020:

The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated 2020 as the “International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife,” in honor of the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth. Nightingale was a visionary nurse and leader, and we are thrilled to honor her in 2020 with this initiative. This may not seem significant to us in the United States, where nursing is ranked as the most trusted profession, according to Gallup’s polls; but in many countries, nurses and midwives are considered less important and treated with less respect. WHO’s 2020 International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife celebration will hopefully elevate nursing throughout the world and lead individuals to recognize the many roles we nurses fill in global healthcare.

The Year of the Nurse designation by the WHO highlights the push to increase the global nursing workforce. Nurses and midwives make up more than half the healthcare workforce worldwide, and the WHO estimates that this year there will be a shortage of nearly 9 million nurses. As the world faces growing healthcare shortages, there are ambitious efforts being made to reach a goal of universal health coverage around the world by 2030. Nurses need to be on the front line.

As a civically engaged nurse, you need to become involved in and educated about the initiatives aimed at nurses for taking action and making changes to the profession.

Below is a list of resources and organizational endeavors that nurses should be familiar with to improve their professional practice. The recurring theme is to take action to improve nursing and improve our role in global care worldwide.

  • Future of Nursing 2020-2030. This report is a follow-up to the original Future of Nursing report, created by the Institute of Medicine.
  • WHO’s 2020 Campaign: International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. Investing in more nurse-led services will enable nurses and midwives to practice to their full potential worldwide.
  • The Nightingale Challenge. The challenge, created by the American Nurses Association, is designed to engage at least 1000 organizations in providing leadership development to at least 20,000 nurses and midwives under the age of 35.
  • Nursing Now. This is a global campaign between the WHO, the International Council of Nurses, and Burdett Trust for Nursing. The intent is to raise the status of nursing worldwide by investing in all aspects of nursing.
  • Nursing Now USA. The organization promotes innovation, develops policy, and expands our influence.

Florence Nightingale continues to serve as a symbol of the power of nursing and demonstrates nurses’ critical role in global healthcare. Nurses are in unique positions to make a difference every day locally, nationally, and globally for patients, the profession, and individually. Everyone has the opportunity to do something that strengthens nurses in 2020—do it now. How lucky we are. Be like Florence— make a difference in nursing.


See also:

Official website of the International Year of the Nurse and Mid Wife

Covid-19 & International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife 2020 by the International Council of Nurses


Florence Nightingale (12 May 1820 – 13 August 1910) was an English social reformer, statistician and the founder of modern nursing. Nightingale came to prominence while serving as a manager and trainer of nurses during the Crimean War, in which she organised care for wounded soldiers. She gave nursing a favorable reputation and became an icon of Victorian culture, especially in the persona of “The Lady with the Lamp” making rounds of wounded soldiers at night.

Recent commentators have asserted that Nightingale’s Crimean War achievements were exaggerated by the media at the time, but critics agree on the importance of her later work in professionalizing nursing roles for women. In 1860, she laid the foundation of professional nursing with the establishment of her nursing school at St Thomas’ Hospital in London. It was the first secular nursing school in the world, and is now part of King’s College London. In recognition of her pioneering work in nursing, the Nightingale Pledge taken by new nurses, and the Florence Nightingale Medal, the highest international distinction a nurse can achieve, were named in her honor, and the annual International Nurses Day is celebrated on her birthday. Her social reforms included improving healthcare for all sections of British society, advocating better hunger relief in India, helping to abolish prostitution laws that were harsh for women, and expanding the acceptable forms of female participation in the workforce.

Nightingale was a prodigious and versatile writer. In her lifetime, much of her published work was concerned with spreading medical knowledge. Some of her tracts were written in simple English so that they could easily be understood by those with poor literary skills. She was also a pioneer in data visualization with the use of infographics, effectively using graphical presentations of statistical data. Much of her writing, including her extensive work on religion and mysticism, has only been published posthumously.

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